Murder suspect Nima Momeni’s lawyer has claimed that the stabbing death of Cash App founder Bob Lee was accidental.
Mr Momeni, a fellow tech executive, is accused of killing Lee last month with a kitchen knife after driving him to a secluded area in San Francisco.
The 38-year-old suspect pleaded not guilty to the killing when he appeared in court in the city on Thursday, after which his attorney Paula Canny said there “was no premeditation” in the case.
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins told the court that prosecutors “believe this was an intentional killing” and that the suspect’s DNA was found on the murder weapon.
Ms Canny repeated her claim after the hearing when she appeared on NewsNation where she was asked about host Ashleigh Banfield about her use of the phrase “accidental” when her client drove from the scene of the crime after the incident.
“Well, I mean, that’s my point. Hello. I just said to you, he—neither one knew if that’s what happened in that interaction. How does a person who’s been mortally wounded walk a football field away not knowing that they’re hurt?” she replied.
Banfield then asked her how someone could “accidentally” stab another person three times, including once in the heart.
“I’m not going to do this. I came here out of the—I said accidentally stabbed somebody. Maybe somebody can stab somebody in a, in a fight with them. I get you want to make good television, but I’m not going to do this here. I said what I said,” the lawyer replied.
Lee was killed in the early hours of 4 April 4 in the San Francisco neighbourhood of Rincon Hill, according to investigators.
Prosecutors say that the victim spent time with the suspect’s sister the afternoon before the attack.
Later, while in a hotel room, Mr Momeni asked Lee if his sister was “doing drugs or anything inappropriate”, a witness told police, according to court papers.
The witness told police that Lee told Mr Momeni that nothing inappropriate had taken place.
But at around 2am video footage showed the victim and suspect getting in to Mr Momeni’s car and driving to the secluded area where Lee was killed.
Court papers state that Mr Momeni’s BMW was caught on video driving away from the scene at high speed